These Rebel Waves – Sara Raasch – Stream Raiders #1 – Balzer+Bray – Published 7 August 2018




Adeluna is a soldier. Five years ago, she helped the magic-rich island of Grace Loray overthrow its oppressor, Argrid, a country ruled by religion. But adjusting to postwar life has not been easy. When an Argridian delegate vanishes during peace talks with Grace Loray’s new Council, Argrid demands brutal justice—but Lu suspects something more dangerous is at work.

Devereux is a pirate. As one of the outlaws called stream raiders who run rampant on Grace Loray, he pirates the island’s magic plants and sells them on the black market. But after Argrid accuses raiders of the diplomat’s abduction, Vex becomes a target. An expert navigator, he agrees to help Lu find the Argridian—but the truth they uncover could be deadlier than any war.

Benat is a heretic. The crown prince of Argrid, he harbors a secret obsession with Grace Loray’s forbidden magic. When Ben’s father, the king, gives him the shocking task of reversing Argrid’s fear of magic, Ben has to decide if one prince can change a devout country—or if he’s building his own pyre.

As conspiracies arise, Lu, Vex, and Ben will have to decide who they really are . . . and what they are willing to become for peace.

My thoughts

The first in a new fantasy series, These Rebel Waves is the story of rebellion and fighting for freedom. With a new and complex fantasy world, Sara Raasch uses this first book to set the scene for an intriguing series.

Three individuals – one a prince, one a solider spy and the last an outlaw – have each experienced the horrors of the civil war and the drive of Argrid’s church to stamp out magic. Adeluna knows the war is over, but she discovers that the Council is not as neutral as they should be. When the infamous outlaw, Devereux Bell is captured, Adeluna knows he could be the key to revealing Argrid’s plans. Meanwhile, Ben is Argrid’s prince. Challenged by his father, he must walk the thin line between exploring the power magic offers him and not being labeled as a heretic. The three must choose which side they are on as their countries march towards war once again.

I added These Rebel Waves to my to-read list after loving Sara Raasch’s first fantasy series, Snow Like Ashes. Sara Raach enters new territory with These Rebel Waves. Writing from the perspectives of the three main characters, she combines volatile politics and governing forces, war, and corruption, with a new fantasy world with unique peoples, land masses, languages and beliefs.

The world of These Rebel Waves is clearly a complex one. The majority of the first half of the novel is spent outlining the characters and their roles within the story, detailing the power of Argrid’s church, the horrors they committed in the name of purity, and the steps people like Adeluna took to secure Grace Loray’s freedom.

I honestly got overwhelmed with feelings of helplessness while reading this novel. The characters face such challenges in their quest to find some semblance of peace in their worlds. Happy moments of comic relief were few and far between. I needed some joy, something to give me some sense of hope, to balance out the endless corruption and horror. There are a few moments of romance, particularly towards the end, but everything remains focused on the politics and drama. The use of magic from plants was interesting,and I enjoyed both Ben and Adeluna’s interest in these plants. The second half of the novel started to get more interesting and introduced a little more action. The ending is a startling cliffhanger, leaving readers hanging until the second book, which is sure to continue the intrigue, corruption, and hopefully more of the magic and action.

The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.

More information

Category: Young adult fiction.

Genre: Fantasy.

Themes: Magical plants, magic, religion, royalty, civil war, espionage, politics, law, uprising.

Reading age guide: Ages 14 and up.

Advisory: Sexual references. Infrequent coarse language, f*** (1), sh** (16), as***** (3), pi** (5), bi*** (1). Violence – references to experiments, torture, injury, plague, burning at the stake and death.

Published:  7 August 2018 by Blazer+Bray.

Format: Hardcover, paperback, ebook, audiobook. 320 pages.


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